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My Town: Flu uptick expected to hurt blood donations

My Town: Flu uptick expected to hurt blood donations

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—With this flu season on track to be one of the worst in years, the American Red Cross is worried blood donations will take a hit.

Traditionally, the winter months are already a difficult time for donation drives, with holiday traveling, school breaks and inclement weather.  The American Red Cross is hoping more West Michiganders will make a resolution to roll up their sleeve and give life-saving blood.  All blood types are needed. 



  • Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. – American Legion



  • Jan. 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. – Grand Valley State University Kirkhof Center



  • Jan. 26, from 12:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. – Coopersville United Methodist Church



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My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mark Jansen tops the list of West Michigan lawmakers who missed the most votes this year, according to the Missed Votes Report compiled by Jack McHugh, editor of MichiganVotes.org.

Jansen missed 46 votes between January and December of this year. The District 28 Republican represents a large portion of Kent County, including Ada, Algoma, Alpine, Cannon, Courtland, Grand Rapids and Plainfield townships, as well as East Grand Rapids, Rockford, Walker and Wyoming.

State Rep. Jon Bumstead, who represents Newaygo, Lake and Oceana counties, had the most missed votes among West Michigan lawmakers in the House, with 21 this year.  

Three senators and three representatives missed 50 or more votes this year.  The top offenders were Rep. John Olumba of Detroit, with 233 missed votes, and Sen. Bert Johnson of Detroit, with 187 missed votes.

My Town: i’move shares tips to prevent winter injuries

My Town: i’move shares tips to prevent winter injuries

SPRING LAKE, Mich. When people think of winter injuries, they think of high level sports like skiing and snowboarding. However, the reality is that everyday activities pose a similar threat for strains, sprains and falls in the winter, according to physical therapist Ryan Tanis.

“Shoveling contributes to many of the injuries we treat this time of year,” said Tanis, Clinic Director at i’move’s Holland location. “It’s a movement that the body has not performed since last winter. Without adequate flexibility and strength, this seasonal activity can result in injury.”

More than 310,000 people were treated for winter sports related injuries in 2012, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. i’move, formerly known as Shoreline Sport & Spine, encourages novices and experts alike to prepare their bodies before engaging in winter sports and daily activities.

My Town: No school, no problem! Four tips to keep your student learning over the holidays

My Town: No school, no problem!  Four tips to keep your student learning over the holidays

During the winter break from school, many students will pack away their books and turn their attention away from learning. 

To help ensure your students are still learning, statewide virtual learning school, Michigan Connections Academy, is sharing activities you can do as a family to keep your young students busy and their brains active over the break.

1.       Practice math while baking holiday cookies. Students struggle with fractions and always want to know when they will “use math in real life.” The perfect time to practice fractions is while you are baking cookies. Two-thirds of a cup plus 1/3 of a cup equals one whole cup, which your child will see as you work on making those cookies, helping develop a real life connection to what they are learning in school.

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Highway lane closed after rig hits overpass

ZEELAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM)— A portion of a busy highway has reopened after a truck hit the overpass.

The crash happened around 11:25 a.m. Friday on 64th Avenue, under the overpass for eastbound I-196 in Zeeland Township. Sgt. John Wolffis with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office says a worker with Pollution Control Services of Muskegon was returning from cleaning out area storm drains when his rig hit the overpass. The driver, a 42-year-old man from Montague, had used a hydraulic lift to drain storm water from the tank, but had forgotten to lower the tank afterward.

My Town: St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish hosts men’s retreat Jan. 10

WEST OLIVE, Mich.-- “Wisdom for a New Year” will be the theme of an upcoming Men’s Retreat Day planned for Saturday, Jan. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish.

The event will be held at The Weaver House, a restored 1901 home, located at 15400 Polk Street in West Olive, at Pine Bend Park.

The guest presenter is Fr. Phil Shangraw, D.Min., canonical administrator with St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish. Fr. Shangraw was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Grand Rapids in 1979.  Over the past 35 years, he has directed many retreats and served in a variety of roles in the diocese―as a pastor, spiritual director and director of the continuing formation of priests.

My Town: Meijer shoppers receive checkout surprise

WALKER, Mich.—Christmas came early to 213 Meijer shoppers, who received a checkout surprise.


On Dec. 13, the Walker-based retailer paid for all of the gifts and groceries filling each shopper’s cart, ranging from $350 to $1,200 each.  The company posted video of the event on YouTube, which you can find here.


“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers,” Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”